Estate, History, Kinneil House, Kinneil Museum, walking

Friends volunteers to provide weekly outdoor guided tour at Kinneil House

Volunteer guides from the Friends of Kinneil will run a free, new, regular walking tour around the outside of Kinneil House and Kirk in Bo’ness every Saturday at 2pm, beginning on 18 September until further notice.

Explore the story of this magnificent 16th/17th-Century palace

There is no need to book, just turn up – meet outside Kinneil Museum (itself open free, daily except Tuesdays, 12.30-4pm). The tour will last around an hour, and will feature the history and heritage of Kinneil House and Estate. All ages welcome.

Ian Shearer, Chairman of the Friends of Kinneil, said: “We are so much looking forward to hosting visitors to Kinneil again, and telling them about its outstanding 2,000-year history. Visitors have been missing the popular Kinneil tours, and everyone here has also been missing all the visitors from home and abroad.

“Due to the pandemic, the interior of Kinneil House has been closed by Historic Environment Scotland until 2022. Thankfully Kinneil Museum is open every afternoon except on Tuesdays, and the historic monuments outside also provide a wealth of world-class interest.

“We have decided to welcome visitors on this regular new Saturday afternoon outdoor tour by our volunteer guides – around the outside of Kinneil House and Kirk due to the ongoing restrictions. Please visit our web site and check social media for full information and updates on the tours.”

Essential visitor information – please read carefully:

* Please do not attend if showing COVID-related symptoms or isolating. Face masks are not currently required outdoors, although they are needed if going inside Kinneil Museum, where a toilet is also located and may be available, although visitors may wish to use other facilities elsewhere before arrival. Visitors should also maintain social distancing between household groups, sanitise hands beforehand, not pass items between groups, avoid touching surfaces where possible, and observe relevant public health regulations and guidance in force at the time. Those attending agree to accept that participation in outdoor guided walking tours is at their own risk as far as any COVID hazards are concerned – as if attending a walk in the park of their own initiative.

* On arrival at the estate, please park only in designated car parking areas or somewhere outside the estate. Assemble for the tour just outside Kinneil Museum for a 2pm start.

* The walk will mostly be along sound footpaths with minimal trip/slip hazards. All ages welcome – adults and children. Regrettably those who are infirm and/or in wheelchairs are respectfully advised not to join the walk, or only to take part in its initial stage next to Kinneil Museum and up to the front of Kinneil House.

* The route is short (Kinneil Museum – Kinneil House – James Watt Cottage – Kinneil Kirk – Kinneil Museum) but will take around one hour as the guide explains the history on view and responds to questions. During or after wet weather, some paths may be muddy and/or slippy: please wear suitable clothing and footwear for the conditions.

* If bringing a dog, please keep the dog away from other walkers, well-behaved, under control and on a lead at all times.

* The walk is free of charge and no booking is required, but donations to support the Friends of Kinneil, a registered charity, may be made at the end.

* Please check the Friends of Kinneil Facebook page or Twitter page before coming, to check for any announcements about cancellation or changes due to adverse weather conditions or other factors. We would do our best to post such announcements before 12 noon on the morning of any particular walk, which may otherwise be assumed to be going ahead although we cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen last-minute circumstances/cancellation.

* The main areas of Kinneil Estate also form part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site. Visitors may wish to continue with their own walk to explore Kinneil Roman Fortlet, and many other paths around the 200 acres of woods and historic parkland, or down the John Muir Way to Kinneil Foreshore towards Bo’ness and other attractions. A free leaflet about the estate’s ‘Hidden Heritage’ trail can be picked up in Kinneil Museum, and free audio tours are also available.

Our guides look forward to welcoming you, or welcoming you back, to Kinneil!